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01-20-2011, 08:07 PM - 1 Like   #1
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Has anyone done any flashlight painting?

anyone use a flashlight to paint scenes at night or to make light trails? im looking to learn how to do this. post pics if you have them

01-20-2011, 10:39 PM   #2
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I do that every now and then, it's fun to experiment with. Here's a shot from Balboa Park in San Diego. I used a flashlight to illuminate the fountain in the foreground.

These next few did not come out as nice as I would have liked, as I did not have my really powerful flashlights with me. The boat in the foreground was very dark, but you get the idea.

As for camera settings, I just set the camera for the background, and then use the flashlight for the foreground. It's pretty much a guess as to how long to paint with the flashlight.
01-20-2011, 11:28 PM   #3
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The funny thing about setting the exposure for a subject that is in the dark, is that the shutter setting doesn't matter. The exposure is determined by your light painting. Using a tripod, set ISO to say 200, the lens to say F8 and the shutter to 30 seconds. Fire the shutter and get moving with the flashlight. LED flash lights render colors pretty well, while a flashlight with an incandenscent bulb will have more of yellow cast. Lots of room for creativity with colored wands.

My grandchildren and I have great fun with this.

01-21-2011, 01:19 AM   #4
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You may look at this site:

Light Painting |
Many good articles regarding 'light painting'

Generally, no need for advanced function in the flash unit like second/rear curtain synch, nor need for a flash unless you want to freeze motion of the subject.

Kids love to play with light.

Balanced with ambient light of the room:

01-21-2011, 01:20 AM   #5
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probably not quite what was meant -
but some of the most famous photos of painting with a flashlight
was the series of Picasso in Life magazine by photographer Gjon Mili -

from: Pablo Picasso;Pablo Picasso [Misc.] - Photo - LIFE

see also:
Picasso: Drawing With Light - Photo Gallery - LIFE
01-21-2011, 01:24 AM   #6
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Here's two examples, slightly different styles:

01-21-2011, 01:30 AM   #7
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Have tried this once with digital (done a few with film years ago)... Took about 4 frames and this was the best (had to tone down a couple of bright spots where I had lingered too long with the torch)

01-21-2011, 01:45 AM   #8
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Funny you should ask... I first tried this only the other night. This was done with a small LED light in my bathroom. I admit, not the most inspiring of subjects, but you get the idea.

01-21-2011, 04:33 AM   #9
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one thing to watch out for is if you are walking around with a flashgun to illuminate the scene, you can have your siloutte in the photo if you are between the subject illuminated by flash and the camera.
01-21-2011, 05:05 AM   #10
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I tried it out earlier on in my experiments with some decent results from a naked halogen bulb:

Method is described in the thread.
01-21-2011, 08:25 AM   #11
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I've done them in a few different styles.

This one had a flashlight paint the edges of the doorway

This one is lit with only a cell phone

This one is a long exposure while driving

And this one is lit with a cell phone again
01-21-2011, 12:34 PM   #12
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I have an idea and the materials I need for a shot I want to enter in the monthly contest here, but I've been banging my head trying to formulate the lighting.

Hope this works!!!
01-21-2011, 01:37 PM   #13
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Just tried it because my friends wanted it for FB

I never edited the pictures because quite frankly they suck, so heres the standard jpeg. Still a possibly fun idea if I had the time and patience

apparently he threw the gun while shooting

just used my phone for the above

edit: Here's some more I forgot about:

01-21-2011, 10:39 PM   #14
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Check this guy out.
01-22-2011, 03:47 PM   #15
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Silly pics

For giggles my roommate and I were experimenting with lightpainting

Not serious at all
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